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When Is It Worth It to Get Hail Damage Fixed on a Vehicle?

Hail storms cause more than $1 billion in property damage every year in the United States. This includes homes and businesses as well as vehicles.

If your car has experienced hail damage, you may be wondering whether it is worth it to get it fixed. This may be because it is a very minor dent or ding, you have an older car that is worth very little, or you are unsure about insurance coverage. Regardless of the reason, it is an important question to ask

This article explains factors that impact whether it is worth it to have hail damage repairs done. Keep reading to find out how these variables might impact your situation.

Insurance Coverage

The first thing to look at is whether your insurance plan covers hail damage. In most policies, hail is excluded from basic liability and collision policies.

Often, such coverage falls under "comprehensive" insurance. This includes things like theft, vandalism, and weather-related events, such as hail.

Keep in mind that, if you plan to file an insurance claim, the sooner you do so, the better. If you have another accident or wreck and have failed to report the hail damage, your insurance company could deny the claim.

Assessment Timeline

When there is a hail storm, insurance companies get inundated with claims. For this reason, the assessment of your vehicle and subsequent decisions about repairs can drag on for weeks or even months. You may get tired of the time and hassle it takes to keep up with meeting assessors or corresponding with the company.

There is an easy solution to this. Most reputable repair shops offer free assessments. There is no harm in quickly getting a free quote to see where you stand, before proceeding with insurance-covered repairs.

Future Likelihood of Hail Storms

Many people who live in areas where hail is prevalent may have the mindset that they will schedule repairs once hail season is over. There is a danger in this, beyond the prospect of insurance denial.

When a metal surface is damaged, it becomes weaker and more vulnerable. This means that it is more susceptible to future damage than it otherwise would be if it were repaired.

Compounded damage from sequential hail storms could be quite serious. (This is the reason insurance companies deny based on these grounds: the driver is partly culpable for the severity of the damage.) If you are going to have hail damage repair, it is better to do so after every incident.

The Severity of the Damage

If you have minor damage to your vehicle, and it is barely noticeable, you might assume that repair is unnecessary. Keep in mind that even minor dents can devalue your car. If nothing else, it is evidence that you were in a hail storm, which could sound off alarm bells for prospective buyers.

Also, if you have insurance coverage but you believe that the amount of damage is less than your deductible, you may be tempted to forego repairs. However, hail damage may be more severe than it appears on the surface.

Trained technicians can detect damage to safety features (like backup cameras or lane departure sensors) or other parts of your vehicle that warrant extensive repairs. They also can advise you on when you should file a claim or pay out of pocket.

The Repair Methods Required

Which repair techniques are needed also could impact your decision. The severity and type of hail damage to the vehicle will determine this.

There are two main methods: traditional and paintless dent repair. Here are the distinctions between the two, as well as an explanation about why this impacts whether it is worth it to fix hail damage.

Traditional Dent Repair

As the name implies, traditional dent repair refers to original techniques used to repair hail and other types of car body damage. In general, it entails using fillers to smooth out the surface of the vehicle, then sanding, priming, and repainting it.

This method takes much longer and tends to be more expensive. That is due to increased labor and material costs.

Traditional dent repair is still useful today for addressing specific types of damage. For instance, if dents are too severe, traditional dent repair may be needed.

Likewise, if dents are overly sharp, deep, or have become creased, then paintless methods may not be doable. Technicians may resort to traditional dent repair methods as a backup.

Other common situations where traditional methods are used include dents near the edge of a panel, on very old cars, or where the paint has been scratched. In this last situation, the technician will have to repaint the surface anyway. So, going with a paintless method yields fewer advantages.

Paintless Dent Repair

Paintless dent repair (PDR) is a new, innovative technique for removing dents from metal surfaces. Technicians use special tools to massage the dent back into place, rather than filling it.

There are many advantages of PDR. One is that it is much faster than traditional repair methods. You can expect them to be completed in a single day.

Due to decreased labor costs and the fact that it requires no non-reusable materials, PDR is much cheaper than traditional dent repair. Another advantage is that it restores your car's surface to its original surface.

Fillers can become dislodged or fade faster than the original paint job. PDR restores the original paint and metal, which can help retain the value of your vehicle.

That is not to say that you should forego dent repair if it requires the use of traditional methods. However, you can expect that route to take longer and cost more, which could impact your decision.

Learn More About Fixing Hail Damage

Now that you understand the factors that impact when it is worth it to get hail damage repaired, you can plan accordingly. A trained technician can better evaluate your circumstances and give you an idea of how much repairs will entail and cost.

Express Auto Hail Repair provides fast, quality dent repair and will work with your insurance company to ensure coverage. We also back up all our repairs with a lifetime warranty. Reach out to us today for a free estimate or to schedule hail damage repair services.

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Team member using specialized tools to work on dent repair on a bright orange 4-door sedan

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